I got a great review in London from the Magic Circle …



Some of the quotes that I read include:

“Shawn performs with masses of energy, and child-like excitement, which was quite infectious.”

“It was a fabulous evening full of tricks and ideas, which could have gone on all night. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, but Shawn Farquhar had given us a real treat.”

I also saw a video today that was quite inspiring for those that think failure is a bad thing. I recall once being asked by a reporter just how many magic awards I had won over the years. I told that reporter that the question was not the right one to ask. That the number of wins was not as important as the number of times I lost! This video shows the other side of many famous folks who didn’t always succeed …


While on the subject of not being perfect. The greatest, without a doubt, magician with birds was Channing Pollock. I spent most of my youth day dreaming that one day I would be perfect like him. In fact he was billed as “the most beautiful man in the world”. Well in this classic video you may notice near the end he vanishes a bird … that doesn’t vanish. Channing never even blinks and goes ahead as if nothing has happened. His assistant even bends down and picks up the bird off the ground without flinching … in my humble opinion … perfect!

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Here’s the full article from the Magic Circular … if you’re bored!

Monday 14 January 2008
A Lecture by Shawn Farquhar
by Paul Roffman

We were privileged to have an unannounced visit from the three-time award winner at FISM. He had been touring Spain and Portugal and a full theatre greeted our Canadian guest, Shawn Farquhar .

He began with a cup and balls routine with a difference; the cups ended up as solid pieces of metal. A good magicians’ trick but, as he said himself, the original works just as well with laymen as they do not know any difference and the surprises are as effective as ever.

This was followed by the use of an assistant for his next effect – me! I got to review this new (and unexplained) trick up close. A card was forced, I mean selected, signed and put back in the deck, which was placed in my hands. The deck then magically changed into a sealed deck, in new deck order, with my signed card in its appropriate numerical position.

Shawn performs with masses of energy, and child-like excitement, which was quite infectious. He talked about the real-world workings of his magic effects and the differences between working on stage, in trade shows and close-up. He utilizes inventive magic which is appropriate for each client. He talked about having four clients whom he worked with for nine years. In one example of inventive magic the effect incorporated a signed CD which could have either the emblem of the client or Shawn’s own details on it.

Another great example of this was his presentation of the Omni (clear, solid) deck which could also have the client’s details. In his explanation of this trick, which is in itself fabulous, he discussed the ins and outs of the deck switch and the various timings involved. He also discussed the importance in eliciting cheers and applause from your audience in walk-around situations in order to impress your effectiveness on your client or event organizer, even when they don’t actually see your magic during the evening.

The stand-out effect was something which he had performed for a very high end client. Shawn has performed an improved, and independently realized, version of Dan Harlan’s “Crazy Eights”, which Harlan himself thought was an improvement on his own trick.

A photo was signed on the bottom right corner, folded and torn into pieces. The pieces were put in the spectator’s hand and magically restored, only the quarters of the photo were in the wrong places and the signed part had moved impossibly to the top left corner.

It was a fabulous evening full of tricks and ideas, which could have gone on all night. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, but Shawn Farquhar had given us a real treat.

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February 9, London, England

Our drive was short and the returning of the rental van was very odd. We had barely pulled up to the rental office when the guy came out and told us not to unload the luggage. He would drive us in the van to the airport. How sweet. I took a picture of him and the van just in case we were giving the van to some clever guy who hung out close to the store waiting to steal cars from suckers like me!

Our flight was non eventful and we had no issues with the luggage. When we reached Heathrow our driver was waiting with sign in hand. We were staying in a different hotel than the first visit. This one was in the same area but was described as a “hip hotel”. It was outstanding and I would recommend the Hyde Park Premiere Hotel to anyone. It was a large room for London standards and the king size bed was nice! We didn’t get to spend much time in the room as we were out the door and on our way to see “Wicked”. Yup, we had seen it for the first time when we were in London a month ago and it only seemed fitting that we try to relive the feeling again!

Wicked

Wicked was once again outstanding. The lyrics and music are unbelievable. At one point the young lady next to me was even crying. During intermission I met some people who were discussing the show and between us we discovered so many hidden meanings and moments built into the show to keep people returning to see the show again and again. As an interesting aside, on returning to my hotel room I discovered on facebook, my friend Byron Batista had just posted pictures of Wicked in Los Angeles where he is working in the costume department!

byron1.jpg

After Wicked we had a few drinks and shared a few stories and packed again for the long haul flight to Canada in the morning…

Reflecting back on the month that had just passed I must say it was the best months in as long as I can remember. It was full of exciting and fun events. I miss performing on stage very much and sometimes wish I was back on the Star. As I was writing this note I have received an email asking if I would be interested in returning to the Star … hmmmm time will tell ….